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Work with objects and arrays using Rest and Spread

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Learn two modern techniques to work with arrays and objects in JavaScript

You can expand an array, an object or a string using the spread operator ....

Let’s start with an array example. Given

const a = [1, 2, 3]

you can create a new array using

const b = [...a, 4, 5, 6]

You can also create a copy of an array using

const c = [...a]

This works for objects as well. Clone an object with:

const newObj = { ...oldObj }

Using strings, the spread operator creates an array with each char in the string:

const hey = 'hey'
const arrayized = [...hey] // ['h', 'e', 'y']

This operator has some pretty useful applications. The most important one is the ability to use an array as function argument in a very simple way:

const f = (arg1, arg2) => {}
const a = [1, 2]
f(...a)

(in the past you could do this using f.apply(null, a) but that’s not as nice and readable)

The rest element is useful when working with array destructuring:

const numbers = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]
[first, second, ...others] = numbers

and spread elements:

const numbers = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]
const sum = (a, b, c, d, e) => a + b + c + d + e
const sumOfNumbers = sum(...numbers)

ES2018 introduces rest properties, which are the same but for objects.

Rest properties:

const { first, second, ...others } = {
  first: 1,
  second: 2,
  third: 3,
  fourth: 4,
  fifth: 5
}

first // 1
second // 2
others // { third: 3, fourth: 4, fifth: 5 }

Spread properties allow to create a new object by combining the properties of the object passed after the spread operator:

const items = { first, second, ...others }
items //{ first: 1, second: 2, third: 3, fourth: 4, fifth: 5 }
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